Regardless of which program you choose, though, keep in mind that neither WPT nor Phil Hellmuth is really balls-to-the-wall serious like a money game. And that, as a matter of fact, is because, according to the laws laid down by the U.S. Congress back in 2006, neither of them actually can be a money game. That is, no gambling program can officially accept a funds transfer from a U.S. party insomuch as they might (and I’m quoting this for you):
“… engage in the business of betting or wagering and knowingly accept proceeds from credit cards, electronic fund transfers and checks in connection with the participation of a bettor in unlawful Internet gambling, which is the sponsorship of online gambling that violates any other federal or state anti-gambling law….”
(Check it out for yourself at http://www.gambling-law-us.com/Federal-Laws/)
The truth, then, is that as a U.S. citizen you really just have to want to play poker to sign up for any of these games. And, more than that, you have to want to play Hold’em specifically, since that’s about all any of them have.
As a result, this reviewer is grading the whole concept of cell-phone poker at a plain, average C. Honestly, half the excitement of any game is sucked out the moment actual gambling leaves the table. So, unless you’re moving to Europe anytime soon, you could just as easily play a couple no-wager hands with your next-door neighbor and save yourself a few bucks.
BITS AND PIECES
If you do live in Europe, Canada or anywhere else besides the U.S.—or if you simply like playing poker for the sheer enjoyment of it—here are a few tips for prepping your phone to download most cellular poker platforms:
- Check your phone model against those listed for the program. Some programs are accepted on a limited variety of phones and call plans, and before you get your heart set on one of them, you’ll need to make sure you’ll actually be able to download it.
- Download Java script (or make sure you already have it on your phone); this is a necessity because most cellular-poker programs use Java to run their graphics.
- Specify the provider’s phone number in your speed dial. If you are dialing abroad—that’s one word, kids—make sure you also include the country code, or you might end up phoning some biddy in Brighton.
- Follow all texted instructions: That is, if the program provider sends you a text message saying “click here” or “follow this link,” don’t put it on the backburner. Do it immediately. Otherwise you might find your subscription never existed.
- Have fun…. Yeah, well if you’re going to pay for it, you’d better.